Tag Archives: River Tyne

The new Butterfly Bridge, River Derwent, Gateshead

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Bridges

Standing a few miles downstream from our village, the green bridge above is the newest bridge on the River Derwent, the river that runs through our valley. This bridge is the new replacement for the older Butterfly Bridge that was washed away in floods in September 2008. I love walking down by the river. It is normally such a peaceful and beautiful river, it seems hard to imagine it so swollen and powerful that it tore out trees and battered them against the sturdy metal bridge until the bridge was ripped away from its stone foundations. The same flood caused a significant amount of damage along the valley. It seemed for a while the old bridge would not be replaced, so I was very pleased when the new bridge was built and opened in 2011.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Gateshead Millennium Bridge – the newest bridge over the River Tyne

Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge spans the River Tyne between the redeveloped quaysides of Gateshead and Newcastle. Carrying only pedestrians and cyclists, this bridge has quickly become a favourite with many people and an icon of modern Tyneside. The Millennium Bridge is unique in the way it tilts open to allow larger ships to pass through.

Road bridge over the River Tyne at Hexham, Northumberland
1793 road bridge over the River Tyne at Hexham, Northumberland

Staying on the River Tyne, but around 20 miles upstream from Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge, stands the historic market town of Hexham. Hexham Bridge is a busy road bridge carrying traffic in and out of the town from the north bank. This 9-arched stone bridge was built in 1793.

I couldn’t resist a seasonally snowy bridge photo to complete this post! I have posted other images previously of this Victorian railway bridge in our woods, but I think it looks so lovely like this, decorated with soft snow 🙂

Victorian railway bridge in snow
After a snow fall – the old railway bridge in our woods

Do take a look at the bridges others have chosen for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

J Peggy Taylor

Tyneside icons for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

With Circles and Curves as this week’s theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, I decided to share some of my images of Tyneside’s famous curved landmarks – from ancient to modern.

Newcastle Castle Keep - external view of original entrance
This elaborately carved arched doorway is the original entrance to Newcastle’s Castle Keep

This Norman castle keep was built in 1178 on the site of the original wooden ‘New Castle’ built by William the Conqueror’s son, Robert Curthose, in 1080.

Bridges over the River Tyne
The iconic Tyne Bridge in the foreground, then the Swing Bridge, the High Level Bridge and the Queen Elizabeth II Tyneside Metro bridge.

Along just a short stretch of the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead there are no less than seven bridges crossing the river! You can see four of them in this picture.

With its curved steel arches, the iconic Tyne Bridge is often used as the symbol of Tyneside. This bridge opened in 1928 and was much needed at the time for the increased road traffic between Newcastle and Gateshead.

The Swing Bridge, can turn 90 degrees on a central pivot to open for larger ships to pass upriver. It was designed by the Victorian engineer and inventor, William Armstrong, to allow ships to reach his engineering works. This bridge is built on the site of the original river crossing point. The Roman bridge, Pons Aelius, was the original starting point of Hadrian’s Wall – Pons Aelius translates as ‘Hadrian’s Bridge’.

Opened in 1849, the High Level Bridge and is another piece of Victorian engineering, designed by the famous railway engineer, Robert Stephenson. This double-decker bridge carries the railway on its upper deck and the road on the lower deck.

The Queen Elizabeth II Tyneside Metro Bridge opened in 1981 and carries the region’s light railway over the River Tyne on its journeys through Gateshead to South Shields and Sunderland.

Gateshead's Millenium Bridge across the Tyne
The Gateshead Millenium Bridge with the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art at the right-hand side of the bridge

The award-winning Gateshead Millenium Bridge is the newest bridge across the Tyne. This bridge can be opened by a tilting mechanism to allow river traffic through.

The Sage, Gateshead across the Tyne
The Sage centre for music is one of Gateshead’s newer iconic landmarks

The Sage, Gateshead (as it is known) was designed by Lord Foster. The curved steel and glass structure enhances acoustics for this world class music venue.

… and in case you are wondering, yes, they do clean all of those windows! … by abseiling down the outside!

J Peggy Taylor